Fear. It’s such a small word, but it’s packed with emotion. It’s such a small word, but it’s full of power. It’s a living organism, growing and growing and growing, spreading from one person to the next, to the next – until it’s reach has far surpassed anything else.
Right now, in the midst of this global pandemic, the world is gripped with fear. Fear of the virus. Fear of the U.S. presedential election results. Fear for the economy. The world is fearful of living in a society filled with hatred, systematic racism, and division.
Everywhere you turn, there is fear billowing under the surface. It’s in the waiting room at the hospital. It’s in the line ups at the grocery store. It’s in classrooms and offices. It’s in churches and neighborhoods. It’s in the hearts and minds of people you know, people you love, people you long to see.
Here’s the thing about fear – it’s not always easy to spot, and it likes to hold on. It’s sticky, like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth or a burdock stuck to your favourite sweater. It starts out small, but if left unchecked can grow bigger and bigger and bigger until it’s a monster that never leaves your side. Until it’s gripped you and has you in it’s hold, like a snake wrapped around it’s prey.
Because fear is everywhere, the enemy loves to use it to attack. A versatile weapon in the hands of a skilled craftsman, sharpening it’s blade waiting for the perfect time to strike. Like a warrior on the battlefield, he plunges it into the heart of many then watches as it spreads like thick, black poison.
Sometimes I forget about it’s power. When I’m going about my day and suddenly a thought enters my mind, starting out as a small chant that I just can’t drown out. And before I know it, I’m doubled over and completely surrendered to it’s grip – completely wracked with worry and focused on the small chant that’s now turned into a full blown roar.
Friends, it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to surrender to it. And I understand that’s truly easier to say than it is to do, but let’s remember we have a weapon that’s even more powerful.
A few days ago, in the early morning hours my son woke up, loudly announcing his presence. This isn’t abnormal, in fact, it’s an every day occurence. But this day stood out among the rest. Because instead of doing what he’d usually do, by repeating a line in a movie or something he’d thought of last, he was chanting this…
Worship is my weapon! Worship is my weapon! Worship is my weapon! Thank you, Lord!
It stopped me in my tracks. Not just because it was different than usual, but because at that moment in time, I was right in the throes of fearfulness. As his voice reached my ears, it was like a soothing balm to my wounded heart. Moments later, his brother was awake and announcing his presence by loudly singing these words…
I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me
I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive
I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me
Sing a little louder
In the presence of my enemies
Sing a little louder
Louder than the unbelief
Sing a little louder
My weapon is a melody
Sing a little louder
Heaven comes to fight for me
Raise A Hallelujah, Bethel Music
I stumbled out of my room, listening to my kids and getting lost in the routine of getting ready for the day. But their early morning encouragement never left me. It was like the Lord knew exactly what I needed and exactly how to get the message to me. Coincidence? I think not.
Later, I asked my younger son where he’d heard the words he’d been chanting. He said, “oh, I had a scripture in my mind.” I asked him what scripture it was, but he had forgotten. So I started to dig, and here’s what I found – worship being used as a weapon all over the place.
In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat receives news that opposing forces have joined together as a common enemy and are waging war against them. Terrified by their impending arrival, he turns to prayer and fasting. By way of a man named Jahaziel, moved by the Spirit to speak, Jehoshaphat heard from God that he won’t even need to fight because God would demonstrate his power. He and his people went out the meet then enemy and fell facedown worshipping God, praying and singing. And as soon as they started singing, God sent ambushes against their enemies and they all ended up dead!
In Joshua 6, the Israelites have entered the promised land and are being met with resistance at Jericho. A large, seemingly impenetrable wall is blocking their way from conquering what the Lord has spoken to be theirs. They turn to the Lord, and Joshua obeys His commands by marching along the wall for seven days. Six days of marching with nothing happening must have been frustrating! But on the seventh day they blasted their trumpets, shouted praise to the Lord and that massive wall came tumbling down.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are imprisoned because the angry owners of a psychic girl, whom Paul and Silas had freed of a demon, dragged them into the public square and had them arrested. As they sat in prison, they prayed and sang out their praises to the Lord. Then God sent an earthquake that shattered prison walls and unbound the shackles of the prisoners, and opened the heart of the jailer who was led to Christ by Paul and Silas that very night.
These are just three small ways that worship has been a weapon against the enemy. How encouraging to read these scriptures, knowing we serve the same God who has equipped us according to the battles we are facing.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Can we just stop there for a second? The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to DESTROY STRONGHOLDS. Strongholds like fear, and it’s counterparts anxiety and depression. Worship is our weapon. Prayer is our weapon. Scripture is our weapon.
In the midst of fear, in the midst of worry, in the midst of living this life in 2020 – worship is our weapon. Our praise, our prayers and our songs to God have more power than fear. They can tackle fear to the ground.
Today, I am focusing on worship. And I pray you’ll do the same. I’ll leave you with Colossians 3:6 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ❤️